Paul Rudd Interview For ‘Our Idiot Brother’
Every family has one: the sibling who is always just a little bit behind the curve when it comes to getting his life together. For sisters Liz (Emily Mortimer), Miranda (Elizabeth Banks) and Natalie (Zooey Deschanel), that person is their perennially upbeat brother Ned (Paul Rudd), an erstwhile organic farmer whose willingness to rely on the honesty of mankind is a less-than-optimum strategy for a tidy, trouble-free existence. Ned may be utterly lacking in common sense, but he is their brother and so, after his girlfriend dumps him and boots him off the farm, his sisters once again come to his rescue. As Liz, Emily and Natalie each take a turn at housing Ned, their brother’s unfailing commitment to honesty creates more than a few messes in their comfortable routines. But as each of their lives begins to unravel, Ned’s family comes to realize that maybe, in believing and trusting the people around him, Ned isn’t such an idiot after all. ‘Our Idiot Brother’ is released in cinemas August 26th.
Can you tell us a little bit about the films story and Ned’s philosophy?
Paul Rudd: ‘Our Idiot Brother’ is about a guy named Ned who lives his life in a very specific way. And that is to see the best in everybody, and try to give everybody the benefit of the doubt. Because he believes if you do, people will want to rise to the occasion and the world will be a better place. Because he lives according to this rule, things don’t necessarily work out for him in the best way (laughs). The movie starts with Ned selling pot to a uniformed police officer, then going to jail. Several months later he comes out of jail, not having a job or place to live, he bounces around from sister to sister, and through his way of living, he creates a bit of chaos in their lives.
Was Ned inspired by anyone you knew?
Paul Rudd: There wasn’t anybody I necessarily based this character on, but there elements from lots of people I know, and elements of my own personality that I think are inherent in the character. But one of whom is Jesse Peretz the director (laughs), who is the nicest guy, very present, he listens to you, he’s very courteous, sweet, and not judgemental in ways so many people I know are. He’s not so unlike this character (laughs).
What initially interested you in playing Ned?
Paul Rudd: The first thing was I read the script and thought it was really funny, but not just funny I loved the drama in it, I thought it was an interesting character and a fun character to play. Jesse Peretz directing it as well, he’s one of my best friends, we’ve worked together a few times now. I live next door to Jesse, it was cool just getting to work with him for six weeks, on a project we both really liked and wanted to do.
How was it working with a number of friends, you’ve worked with Elizabeth Banks a couple times now?
Paul Rudd: Working with people you’re friends with is great, in many ways. In terms of the relationships we have in the movie, it definitely helped that we were friends – particularly with the sisters, I’d worked with Elizabeth Banks about five or six times now, it was very easy to play brother and sister because we know each other so well. Zooey I’ve known for many years, I’ve worked with her before as well, we had a history, same with Rashida Jones. Emily Mortimer was one person I didn’t know very well. I knew who she was, we had mutual friends, but she’s just so lovely and good, it was an absolute pleasure to work with someone that talented. (Laughs) It was really nice.
You’ve got a striking look and wardrobe in ‘Our Idiot Brother’….
Paul Rudd: (Laughs) It’s the best wardrobe I’ve ever had on a movie……maybe ‘Anchorman’ was close, but this was a lot more comfortable (laughs). I had never wore Crocs in my life, there’s just something funny about Crocs. The shorts were the worst, they were kind of patterned with a sort of Incan mozzetta, I don’t even know what it was. They had draw-string and buttons, they were really thin but I loved them. All that mixed with the beard and the hair, it gave Ned a very specific look that I liked having for a little while.
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